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How to Choose Side Stones for your Three Stone Engagement Ring

By Stephanie Dore

Three diamonds are better than one, right? Well, if you’re looking into rocking a three stone engagement ring they certainly are. After all, in the world of sparkle, we all know more is definitely more. But when it comes to picking out the perfect side stones for your style, it can be all kinds of confusing. Do you want all three diamonds to be the same? Different? Big? Small? How’s a human to know? Well, that’s what we’re here for, darlings. We’ve got all the deets on how to choose the best side stone shape for your three-stone diamond engagement ring. Keep reading

Choose Your Own Adventure

A three stone engagement ring has lots of meaning behind it, religious or symbolic or otherwise. But you can also just totally love them for their look, that’s 100% fine by us. But it’s good to know what exactly that look really is. See, there are kind of two different camps when it comes to three-stones. 

frank darling three stone trillion engagement ring in yellow gold
Custom three stone trillion
engagement ring

Peas in a Pod

The first is a more traditional look where the diamond weight and size is more evenly distributed across the three stones, with the sides just slightly smaller than the center. This can help get you more impact if working with a smaller budget, because, well, three smaller stones are typically going to cost less than one giant one with a couple of smalls on the side BUT it can get expensive if you’re going for that total finger coverage diamond forward look. It also can also create more of a “band” style on your finger rather than a standout solitaire.

Your Perfect Plus Two

The second type of three stone engagement ring is where the center is still totally the focus with two side stones as smaller accents on the side. This keeps more of your budget in the center diamond and the bigger that center diamond, the more it’s going to look like a solitaire. FYI, Meghan Markle’s engagement ring falls into this camp, in case you were wondering.

Matchy Matchy

Often, you will find that asymmetrical center diamonds (pear, for instance) look best with asymmetrical side stones (pear, duh) and curves with curves, straight lines with straight lines, you get the idea…but this isn’t a hard and fast rule. 

Bag Ladies

Baguette side stones are one of the most common exceptions to the above rule. They look good with every shape center stone. End of story. Really, though, you can’t go wrong with tapered baguette side stones in a three stone engagement ring. Tapered so that the wider end faces your center stone and the narrower end points down the shoulders of your ring, creating a brilliant transition to the metal of the band. It’s a house fave, for sure.

Circle The Wagons

Round diamonds in a three stone engagement ring are probably the most common shape for a “traditional” three-stone style, where all of the diamonds are more similar in size. It gives you a ton of brilliance and can save you dollars since larger round diamonds are at the top of the pricing pyramid. Pear-shaped side stones are also beautiful with a round diamond, set pointing down the band, so you have lots of curve but with a bit more variation.

Oval Office

The curvy oval looks fantastic with curvy side stones, whether that’s more ovals, rounds, or pears, oh my. It keeps the look soft and brilliant. Go with bigger, matching oval side stones for a unique take on the traditional round three-stone, or stick with smaller rounds or pears that transition into the band to keep your center standing out.

Deco Yourself Out

For the ultimate in Art Deco-inspired sophistication, match three emeralds or an Asscher center with some baguette side stones. Really, you can play up this geometry with any stones that have straight sides to really get that mirrored, mesmerizing style. And think outside the box! Trapezoids make excellent side stones for emeralds and Asschers, creating a more “all diamond” and less-solitaire look when combined with your center.

So Cush

You got lucky if you’re in love with a cushion-shaped center diamond. Why? Because you can swing both ways! Go round or go straight or go in between with a half-moon shaped side stone and it’s going to look good no matter what. Because cushions fall in the pillowy center and you really can do no wrong. Well, okay, maybe don’t go with a step-cut style on the side as that might not rock your world against all that blingy brilliance.

frank darling custom five stone ring with baguette sidestones and bullets
Custom five stone
engagement ring
mixing round and baguette diamond side stones

Break the Rules

Want to go out on a limb? While we all love an oval three stone engagement ring with pear side stones there are SO many more options. Break the shape rules and mix brilliant cuts with step cuts for a totally unique style. And a bezel will make it even more mod. Try an emerald with round side stones or a round with Asschers…hey, you do you. 

Shape Up, Ship Out

No matter what your three-stone style, we’ve got you covered. Explore our collection or customize your own with our design quiz and get a free sketch! Need more insider advice? Reach out to hello@frankdarling.com with what you’re looking for and our diamond concierge will be happy to help.

frank darling five stone asscher cut diamond ring
Straight baguettes are typically set as north-south side stones, whereas tapered baguettes are set east-west.